On the day of the HS2 supply chain conference, we reproduce the letter sent to Flight International Magazine from Richard Lloyd, an occasional contributer to the Stop HS2 blog. An edited version was published in that magazine in September:
There’s a high entry fee for any new development like Lighter-Than-Air cargo operations (Flight International 2-8 September 2014 p30). However, rather than risk public money by direct investment, a Government can support innovation by being a dependable early customer.
A prime opportunity for LTA technology has emerged in the UK with the proposed construction of a High Speed Rail network. It would be one of the largest construction projects ever, and the Government’s choice of a green-field route has created access difficulties akin to those in remote areas.
The use of LTA cargo aircraft would avoid the need to send heavy construction traffic down narrow country lanes and through built-up areas. Large structural sections could be flown in from centralised fabrication sites, and excavated material could be transported efficiently for re-use or land reclamation.
The Parliamentary Committee for the HS2 legislation will hear evidence on the use of LTA aircraft later this autumn. The timing is fortuitous for this fledgling industry, which needs a major application like this to demonstrate its full potential.
The justification by Kirby for HS2 was not convincing with 5000 lorries off the road. Travel on the M1 M40 M25 and observe the growth in numbers of trucks per minute per lane and the sizes of the continental and UK trucks and you realise Rail Freight is not the same loading gauge as many of the articulated current road lorries/trucks,
The HS2 arguments are starting to be questioned by people along the route and in Westminster and hopefully in the HM Treasury. The project that Higgins Kirby and a few others are obsessing is not for the UK. It would be too costly and ineffective. Still born idea of several politicians with poor distorted national priorities in this new era of decreasing per capita earnings and many more people and vehicles on the road. It is hoped Stephen Glaiser from the RAC will be able to convince the House of Lords why the priorities of £50 Billion for phase 1 and 2 and possibly more for phases 3, 4, 5, and 6 will not produce the user benefits, productivity and better uses of land. After the services of Education and Health, the additional housing and business investments, power and roads rank the highest.
Regional local economic growth is required not London Centric commuting, Birmingham has the local population numbers not to be short of people but it is short of jobs. Commuting people to and from London is not sensible as the cost per day is too great as it is from Birmingham to Leeds or Manchester. Thankfully the House of Lords is starting to identify the weakness of the HS2 project at last.
Vote out the main parties and coalition to repeal the bill process.
HS2 should be stopped from placing the first tier contracts before Royal Assent. What madness is underway in the UK when such a sideshow took center stage.
Fro construction period over 5000 vehicles per day would be on the north south motorways into the Counties. Who produced the distortion of the numbers Kirby used.
Time to vote against HS2 before it ruins the nation ahead of having a plan for development that makes more sense.
Put you money into the power stations, roads and industry you need as the UK heads to 70M and 80M people in this Century please.